Stanford Ousts Sacramento State; Advances to Round of 16

Dec. 1, 2007

Stanford, Calif. - The Stanford women's volleyball team had no trouble earning a spot in its own Regional tonight, as the squad dominated Sacramento State, 30-23, 30-11, 30-28, to advance to the round of 16 in the NCAA Women's Volleyball Championship. Stanford improves to 29-2 with the sweep, while Sacramento State ends its season with a 29-8 mark.

Junior outside hitter Cynthia Barboza turned in the 16 kills, while hitting .467. Junior middle blocker Foluke Akinradewo tallied 16 kills as well and hit .591 with five blocks, while senior setter Bryn Kehoe recorded 54 assists. Freshman Alix Klineman hit a career-high .476 with 11 kills, and Franci Girard had nine kills on 14 tries to contribute to one of the Cardinal's best hitting night's of the year. The Cardinal hit .409, marking the sixth time this year the team has finished above .400 and recorded a team total of 61 kills. On defensive, freshmen Cassidy Lichtman and Gabi Ailes notched 13 kills apiece, marking a career-high for Lichtman.

Sacramento State hit .191 on the night, the 24th Stanford opponent to fall below .200. Missie Stidham and Lindsay Haupt led the Hornets with 13 kills each.

Sacramento State matched Stanford point-for-point to start game one, but the exchange lasted only until 3-3. Kehoe found four different hitters for five straight Cardinal kills and gave her team a firm grip on the lead, 8-3. The Cardinal continued to rally, quickly turning the solid lead into a rout. Franci Girard contributed two kills and an ace in a 9-2 Cardinal run that stretched the lead to double-digits at 17-7, and the Hornets would never catch up. Akinradewo led 6-1 stretch of Stanford momentum with three kills to push the lead to 23-10, and Girard added her fourth kill of the game to make it 27-12. The senior middle blocker added a solo block to give Stanford game point at 29-13, but the Hornets pulled out an impressive 14-point rally to prevent the lopsided loss. After the frustrating series, Erin Waller pounded a kill from the middle to end the game, 30-23. Stanford outhit Sacramento State .486 to .368 in the opening game behind Akinradewo's six kills.

In game two, Stanford was once again out of the gates quickly. Akinradewo had three blocks and two kills in her first trip through the front row, and Stanford ran out to an 8-1 lead. This time, Stanford never looked back. Barboza added three kills in a 5-1 Cardinal run that made it 13-3, and added an ace before Akinradewo came back to the front row and put the game away. Akinradewo notched tallied three more kills and another block in a 7-0 Stanford run that made it 22-6 and sophomore Janet Okogbaa came in and followed her lead. Okogbaa added three kills in make it 27-9, and Barboza blasted two balls past the Hornets to give Stanford game point at 29-10. After one last Hornet point, Girard pounded her seventh kill of the match to seal the win, 30-11. Stanford hit an impressive .541 in the game, and held the Hornets to a .028 mark.

Sacramento State took the first point of game one for its first lead of the match, but Akinradewo tallied two kills to help swing things back in favor of the Cardinal. The Cardinal had difficulty widening the margin, however, allowing a four-point lead at 11-7 to slip away. The Hornets regained the lead briefly at 12-11, but Stanford rattled off four consecutive points to go back ahead 15-12. The game went into four more ties, but Sacramento State managed too flip the lead again at 20-19 and pull ahead by as much as two at 22-20. Girard ripped a kill to start a three-point Cardinal run that reversed things again at 23-22 and Stanford took three of the next four points to jump out to a 26-23 lead. The Hornets fought back to tie at 28, but Klineman drilled a kill from the back row to give Stanford game point at 29-28. A Sacramento State hitting error completed game and the Stanford sweep, 30-28. Stanford outhit Sacramento State .220 to .171 in the final set.

Stanford returns to Maples next week to host one of four NCAA Regionals. The top-seeded Cardinal will meet 16th-seeded Cal Poly at 7 p.m. on Friday night, followed by a 9 p.m. match between eighth-seeded UCLA and Oregon. The winners will square off at 8:30 p.m. on Saturday night. All three matches will be televised live on ESPNU.

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